However the bill also establishes afinancial safety net for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, agencies inwhich the market has lost muchconfidence over the last several weeks. Little surprisethen that the commercial real estate industry is breathing asigh ofrelief with its successful passage. The changes to theregulatory apparatus of Fannie and Freddie are substantive, JeanEverett, partner in Hiscock & Barclay's Financial Institutions& Lending practice, tells GlobeSt.com and will provide animportant psychological boost to the market.

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"It will have the effect of sending a strong message toinvestors--especially foreign investors--that the federalgovernment understands its supportive role for Fannie andFreddie."

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This is good news for developers that rely on the GSEs'funding--now a major source of liquidity for multifamilyfinance--as well as to the GSEs themselves. "This legislation ishistoric," Ken Bacon, EVP of Housing & Community Developmentfor Fannie Mae, told listeners in a conference call recently. "Itprovides clarity and certainty to the market and reaffirms the rolewe play in the multifamily sector." These were among the openingremarks Bacon made earlier this week, before he announced FannieMae's mid-year DUS loan productionfigures.

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The bill also provides a significant boost to affordable housingfinancing, Everett adds--specifically it enhances the opportunitiesfor tax-exempt financing for affordable housing, includingincreasing the allocation of private activity bond cap to states."These measures will help stabilize the market for housing revenuebonds and preserve and even increase the supply of affordablehousing," she said.

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